( File photo )

Mastronardi Produce Ltd., Kingsville, Ontario, in a partnership with John Paul DeJoria, is planning a greenhouse project in the Middle East to distribute fruits and vegetables to the region.

A new company, Green International Ventures LLC (GIVE), is overseeing the project, according to a news release. This is the first project for the Mastronardi/DeJoria partnership, formed to grow and distribute produce grown in technologically advanced greenhouses across the globe to address dependence on imported foods.

The Middle East project will “create a sustainable source of local employment, and significantly increase the region’s non-petroleum-based exports,” according to the release.

Jen Wheatley, manager of communications and social at Mastronardi Produce, said the company isn’t yet identifying the country where the facility will be located, or possible export countries. 

“As pioneers in the greenhouse industry, we are passionate about increasing access to local, sustainably grown fruits and vegetables,” Paul Mastronardi, president and CEO of Mastronardi Produce, said in the release. “Our first location in the Middle East will allow us to reach over half the world’s population in less than eight hours, and this is just the start.”

GIVE plans to establish a research and development facility in the region as well, to integrate “agtech initiatives into the local farming community and expand knowledge of sustainable agricultural techniques,” according to the release.

Mastronardi announced plans of the partnership with DeJoria in March, to focus on high-density farming systems to grow local foods in under-served markets.

DeJoria is an entrepreneur who is behind the Patron tequila and John Paul Mitchell Systems’ brands.

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